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Ambassador Club and guidelines for responsible diving

Dedicated to raise awareness and sensitize different actors on environmental issues, Oceanium is bringing divers to fight for the preservation of the marine ecosystem. Honouring our commitment, the international association Longitude 181 Nature (http://www.longitude181.com/) has promoted the Oceanium responsible diving centre as a representative of the association.

GUIDELINES FOR RESPONSIBLE DIVERS

This charter proposes guidelines and not a list of restrictions! Apply the suggestions case by case since diving spots and situations change from place to place. The basic idea is to get people to think about how to optimize diving conditions in order to protect and ensure the fair sharing of the oceans’ treasures.

1 - PREPARE YOUR JOURNEY

Not all travel agencies and diving centres offer the same services. Some try to protect the environment and help you to explore and share natural resources more fairly with the host country’s inhabitants. This may cost them money and make your trip more expensive, but together you will contribute to the sustainable development of our planet. The cost per dive should not be your only selection criterion.

  • Choose a travel agency which has agreed to respect ethical guidelines.
  • Prefer responsible diving centreS which are concerned with the protection of sea-beds (treatment of solid and liquid wastes, use of mooring buoys etc.) and which invest in local development projects.
  • Find out about the marine ecosystems you will be exploring.
  • Find out about the inhabitants of the country you are visiting: their traditions, economy and resources.

2 - BEFORE DIVING

  • Get fit. If you have not dived for a long time, train yourself to manage your buoyancy :lung-ballast, weight jacket, optimized ballasting, etc.
  • Find out about the dive spot you are exploring before you go. You will enjoy your dives so much more, as you will not just be a passive observer in a world in which you cannot speak the language. Learn to read the first pages of the big marine life book. If you can identify the animals, and know how they behave, you will know where to find them. Much of this incredible fauna is hidden.
  • Ask your diving centre to give you a presentation on the local ecosystem.
  • Ask for the list of threatened species, the list of protected species and all relevant regulations.
  • Ask for what the diving centre does to protect the sea (mooring buoys, etc.).

3 - ON THE BOAT

  • Never throw anything overboard.
  • Refuse plastic plates and cups which take scores of years to break down.
  • Ask for dustbins on the deck for (if you absolutely need to smoke) cigarette butts (they take months to break down) plastic waste, aluminum foil, etc.
  • Take care to attach spare air valves, consoles and pressure gauges firmly so they do not dangle and damage fixed flora and the fauna.
  • Use short, recreational flippers.

4 - WHILE DIVING

  • As soon as you enter the water, check your weights and adjust if necessary.
  • Use your flippers gently, and do not touch or collide with fixed marine life.
  • Avoid contact with fixed plants and animals. They are fragile and can be destroyed by repeated shocks.
  • Do not take anything than pictures!
  • Do not bother the animals. If they take refuge in their hiding-place, do not force them out - they are already stressed enough. Wait without moving until they calm down and come out again.
  • Do not feed the fish. You change their behaviour and disturb the ecosystem.

5 - AFTER DIVING

  • Save fresh water. It is the most valuable commodity on earth.
  • Ask for equipment designed to conserve fresh water: like equipment wash tanks and controlled flow showers.

6 - DURING YOUR HOLIDAYS

  • Try to get outside your diving centre or hotel. There is a world out there waiting to meet you!
  • Do not buy souvenirs ripped from the sea like shark teeth, tortoiseshells, starfish, sea horses and other dried fish, corals and shells.
  • Boycott restaurants which serve shark fin soup, tortoise meat, cetaceans (e.g. whales, porpoises) and fish caught by destructive means like dynamite, cyanide, etc.
  • Ask restaurants how fish and seafood is caught and what sort of agreements they have with local fishermen.

Ensemble, protégeons notre planète !